FOX 6 News in Milwaukee has a story about the on-going discussions between Frontier Airlines and the Wisconsin Center District regarding the renewal of naming rights for the convention center.
From the story:
"The chairman of the District, Frank Gimbel, tells the Business Journal preliminary discussions with Frontier about renewing the naming rights agreement "have not left the District feeling very secure." He says by mid-year, the District plans to identify potential candidates to "step up to the plate" to replace Frontier if necessary."
"Grave concerns", really? The thought process is probably something like "The check is in the mail. Actually, it's being sent out on one of F9's planes to MKE. Oh wait, but F9 doesn't fly to MKE anymore?".
New airline partner for convention center in Milwaukee?
Delta Airlines has reportedly reached an agreement to purchase the naming rights for the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee.
Franklyn Gimbel, board chairman of the Wisconsin Center District, said the district has reached an agreement with an entity to take over the last year of Frontier Airlines' naming rights deal for the downtown Milwaukee convention center. That deal expires at the end of June 2013.
The district is in negotiations with that entity, which Gimbel declined to name, for a five-year extension of the naming rights deal, he said.
Sources said the Wisconsin Center District has been in negotiations with an airline for the naming rights, but they could not confirm that Delta is that airline.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today that the airline in the negotiations is Atlanta-based Delta.
A Delta spokesperson was not available to confirm the report.
Frontier Airlines has dramatically cut back its presence in Milwaukee, significantly reducing service and employment at Mitchell International Airport.
Meanwhile, Delta has expanded in Milwaukee and recently added service from Mitchell to New York.
The downtown Milwaukee convention center was originally named the Midwest Express Center. The name was later changed to Midwest Airlines Center when the company changed its name. The convention center's name was later changed to Frontier Airlines Center after Republic Airways Holdings Inc. purchased Midwest and combined it with Frontier.
Delta has bought facility naming rights in other communities.
In 2000, Delta agreed to buy the naming rights for Cincinnati's convention center, which was being expanded. But Delta two years later backed out of that agreement after the airline fell into financial trouble.
Financial difficulties also led Delta in 2006 to not renew its naming rights agreement for the Salt Lake City arena, where the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz play.
However, Delta is now profitable after reorganizing its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
I really didn't expect any airline to buy naming rights....it's not common for airlines to buy naming rights for convention centers. But Delta must have had interest equal to or greater than the price they are paying.